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264

The men would go. They had decided on Bardsville first
Which was good. The biggest warehouses were there. That
was right. Get the biggest ones first. It ought to be before
the New Year, some man had said. Or sooner, another had
added. Sooner. " We need time," Doctor MacDonald had
pointed out, "nothing too hasty. Maybe we've been too
hasty in the past, but not now. Now we'll be sure."

" Time?   How much time?" someone had demanded.

"By New Year's, we ought to be able by New Year's,"
Doctor MacDonald had answered. "But we have to drill
the men. That takes time. We couldn't get all of them
ready by that time. But we don't need all. Say, about a
thousand."

Some man had said: " You get more'n a thousand and a
lot will have to come a long way. They'll be half a day
coming. Some, more."

" We won't need more'n a thousand," Doctor MacDonald

had told him. " That'll make a show, I reckon. Later-----"

And Mr. Munn, not looking up, had known how at the
moment of the pause he must have been grinning easily and
confidently at the men around him, shaking his unlit pipe at
them probably. And he had heard the voice go on: "—may-
be we'll need more."

" Yeah, yeah "—it had been a voice which Mr. Munn could
not recognize. "There's the other towns, there's the other
warehouses. And big ones."

And Doctor MacDonald had said, never fear, they wouldn't
wait too long, not long enough for the companies to take any
steps. They wouldn't discriminate too much in favour of
Bardsville.

Then Mr. Munn walked over to join the group. They
were talking about preparing the men, how to drill them.
And how many would go into Bardsville on foot. And
whether to burn or dynamite the warehouses. Then one of
the men asked if they reckoned there'd be any fighting.

" Well have the drop," a man said, " anyway."

" Maybe there will be some, sooner or later," Doctor Mac-